Friday, August 15, 2008

This joke isn't funny.

We’ve all gotten junk e-mails from time to time. Most of them are annoying. Some of them are mildly amusing. Still others are dangerous, like the ones claiming to be from your bank and credit card companies but which are really sent to you by identity thieves (“phishing”). Or the ones which promote hysteria. One such e-mail is currently making the rounds:

Subject: Minister With Aids

To those of you who are single or married, saved or not saved, this is for you. I am a 35-year-old African American or Black brother dying of Aids. I would like to share my testimony with you.

I am an owner of a Mortgage Company in Atlanta , GA. I own a 2007 Jaguar and I also own a $350,000 beautiful home in Cobb County .

I have a beautiful Lady who is deeply in love with me and a loving family. But most important, I have Jesus, this is just a wake up call to all single brothers and sisters who are professing to be Christians, but don't want to be complete.

Brothers, I had a beautiful young lady who loves the Lord and worships the ground I walk on. But I still wasn't quite happy because sometimes I would see another sister with a Coca-Cola bottle shape and just wanted to hit it. Because I was using a condom, I thought that I wouldn't catch the killer 'AIDS' but guess what? I did..

And the person I caught it from was a girl that I knew well.

But the condom came off and now I am dying of AIDS. Yes, I wore a condom. But yes it did happen.

God gives us time after time to straighten our lives up. I do know the Lord in the pardon of my sins. I've been saved now for 7 years.

I found out 7 months ago that I had the virus, and now I have full-blown Aids. I really didn't think that I was doing anything wrong, because I would tell the women who I would deal with about the woman I love. I thought that was good enough. But it wasn't.

I am a good man and also a God-fearing man; but my weakness was women... I really wasn't out there like you may think I was, but every once and a while I would see something I wanted to try. My girlfriend is a praying woman. I know now that she was intimate with me because she loved me and she wanted to make me happy.

Now I've given AIDS to the woman I love (who has been faithful to me) because of lust.

Brothers and sisters, what I am telling you is that God is tired of us hurting each other and using each other for self-gratification.

God has given me my home, my dream car and a beautiful woman and I took it all for granted. I've been tithing for 7 years. I am the chairman of my Deacon Board. But when I told my Pastor I had AIDS, he could not believe it because of the way I would carry myself.

Brothers, if you have a sister who loves the Lord and who loves you for who you are and not for what you look like and not for what you have, cherish her.

Sisters. If you have a brother who loves the Lord, love him and cherish him.

My life has been altered. I've been with my lady since I was 20, and I've always used my young age as an excuse for not being loyal and not settling down with the woman I loved. I was being a hypocrite thinking that I was missing something, and not realizing that I had a good woman who loved and adored me.

I wish I had been a real man and had appreciated the good woman God had sent me by not making excuses and dedicating my life to her. I would love to travel and marry this beautiful young Lady, but now I can't.

I've embarrassed my family, my church and my friends. But I was hardheaded and now I must suffer.

God is cleaning up. Stop playing with God. God is revealing the secrets of us Christians. Brothers and sisters, we don't have to have so many 'friends,' you know what we call them. The ones we are planning to sleep with but haven't yet.' We often say that we don't want anyone to know our business, but God is about to reveal something. Especially to us young people.

We think so carnal. But we say that we have been transformed. We have been transformed from what we want to be transformed from. Let's be real. God knows that the opposite sex attracts us. And he knows the desires we have for each other, but we don't have to have multiple partners.

If I could do it all over again, I would marry the woman I love and live happy forever. But now I can't! But you can!

Singles...I gotta tell you, it's not worth it. I love you all!

Get rid of casual sex.

This is really deep. After you've read this, think about yourself. Could this have been you? Some of you may not relate, but think about anything you are doing right now that is not of God.

We are living in the last and final days, and pretending to be saved is not going to cut it. Professing that He is Lord, and yet worshiping the devil every chance you get will lead you to the same path as me. Get your mind out of the gutter and put it in the Word of God and you'll have great success. Don't and you'll have great woe.

I love the LORD and thank Him for all that He does in my life; therefore, I'm passing this on. Yes, I do love Jesus who has forgiven me of the repeated sins. That forgiveness does not cancel out the consequences, at least not so far. But that's on me. Still, the Lord is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me functioning each day and is letting me share my story with you.

I'm telling it like it is. THIS REALLY is to help somebody. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things. Phil 4:13

If you love Jesus, send this to lots of people!!!!!! Be Positive - Be Progressive...Take the time to make a positive difference in someone's life.

Minister Anthony J. Cox

God Bless

And I thought that Reverend Jimmy Swaggart was pitiful. This inflammatory screed apparently hasn’t hit yet, but I suspect that it won’t be long.

First, these chain letters (messages which you’re expected to forward to all your friends and relatives) are spam. They’re written and circulated by people with far too much time on their hands and nothing constructive to do with it.

Second, while unprotected sex is certainly inadvisable in this day and age, the idea of a man catching HIV - zap! - the very second his condom fails is ludicrous. I know of at least two instances where a married man whose wife caught AIDS from a blood transfusion stayed uninfected even though they continued to have unprotected sex until the wife was diagnosed long after the fact. One was Paul Michael Glaser who played Detective David Starsky in the 1970's action/comedy TV program “Starsky & Hutch”. His wife Elizabeth, who died from AIDS in 1994, was diagnosed with HIV ten years earlier, about 3 years after his daughter Ariel was born (she was also HIV-positive and died from AIDS in 1988). The other was a man named “Pete”, a friend of National Public Radio film reviewer Bob Mondello. As with Elizabeth Glaser, Pete’s wife became pregnant before she was diagnosed. Pete’s wife and child died of AIDS, Pete remained uninfected.

This is not to advocate unprotected sex, or to minimize these peoples' terrible losses, but hopefully you see my point.

Third, there are treatments for HIV and AIDS now which didn’t exist when Pete’s wife and Elizabeth Glaser became infected. While a cure still hasn’t been found, we’ve come a very long way from the days of AZT and hopeless despair.

Lastly, let's all stop demonizing "casual sex" (read: sexual relations between reasonably intelligent but unmarried adults). Ignorance and carelessness. are what spreads HIV, not "casual sex". By the way, the one part of America with the greatest number of new AIDS cases is the deep south, the most moralistic, socially-conservative part of America. What does that tell us?

HIV/AIDS is a serious matter. Let’s treat it like one, and not make a moralistic anti-sex crusade or a stupid practical joke out of it. For solid facts on this pestilence that has been in our face for far too long, check out:

The Body - Lots of information, some of it a bit technical, but factual and without moralization. - As the name suggests, it's geared toward high school and college-age people, but still has plenty of useful information for people of all ages.
National Public Radio hosted a call-in program about AIDS on August 5th. They've also got a blog to accompany the on-air discussion.


Anonymous said...

I understand your subtle approach that it's more likely for a woman to be infected by a man than a man infected by a woman. However, it is not impossible. There are a lot of statistics that we can propose about diff't studies but the bottom line is this young man was the one who fell through the cracks and there is a price to pay. Casual sex is not suppose to be a part of a believer's life, for this reason we suffer the consequences.Sometimes in unwanted pregnancy, disease, marriages based on good sex and fun rather than good values. The responsibility isn't about two grownups it's about the word "fornication" when you are a believer of the Holy Bible. So then the true choice is to abstain from premarital sex in order to preserve yourself for a lifetime of intimacy with one partner.I think Anthony's point in sharing was to encourage other believers to allow their lifestyles to align with the word of God if that's who you choose to believe in. Christian lifestyles gradually change as their minds are renewed in the word that's laid out as the constitution for their life.

C.S. Lewiston said...

I respect your beliefs surrounding sex outside of legal marriage. And you need to know that there are those - some Christians included - who don’t subscribe to them. Not everyone can or wants to remain celibate until Mr.or Ms. Right shows up, assuming that he or she ever does. And not everyone wants to, or is even able to marry for any number of reasons.

It seems that there are evidently quite a number of us who believe that one shouldn’t have to wait for permission from some church or from the state in order to be allowed to do something that all human beings are born to do. If you want to call it fornication or some other name, go right ahead. It makes no difference to us unless you try to limit or outlaw contraception or other family planning services as certain religious or quasi-religious groups have been trying to do for the last 30 years.

I have no patience with so-called “social conservatives” who tell us that AIDS is God’s wrath against sexually-active people. The flu has killed hundreds of people over the years. What terrible transgressions were these people being punished for? Legally-wed women, including vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have given birth to children with severe handicaps. What was their sin?

Which brings us back to the premise of my original post - that the veracity of Rev. Cox’s story is seriously in doubt. We’ve no way of knowing if that’s his real name, or if his story is true, or even if he’s a real person. Frankly, I suspect it’s either a prankster having a good laugh at our expense, or it’s a pathological moralist who believes that telling lies and spreading fear and disinformation is perfectly fine as long as it’s done in the name of “morality”.